Change of Season

We spent Labor Day in Sonoma County. The main purpose of our journey? -- To see Hall and Oates at Rodney Strong Vineyards! We decided to make a day of it by exploring Santa Rosa on the way to Healdsburg for the concert. We took a walk through the historic Railroad District. We chanced upon a yarn shop with crocheted sea creatures in the window -- very imaginative.

This painted wall outside Whistlestop Antiques really captured the essence of the neighborhood.

The textures of the town were fantastic. This hotel facade had seen better days but it works with the classic brick of the building.

We found a very comprehensive walking tour description on About.com. As a result, we found this sculpture garden near the local Hyatt.

We looked up and realized that the trellised walkway was laden with grapes. Beautiful!

Santa Rosa pays homage to Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts cartoonist. Schulz grew up in Minnesota but moved to Sebastopol, CA as an adult. There are fun, colorful Peanuts statues all about town.



Santa Rosa also features the Charles Schulz Museum. The atrium includes a giant version of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football from Lucy's hand.

If you look very closely, the wall is comprised of hundreds of Peanuts comics.

Schulz was also a big hockey fan. Redwood Empire Ice Arena (Snoopy's Home Ice) is across the street from the museum.

After getting our fill of Good Old Charlie Brown, we stopped at a few wineries before the concert.

After Geyser Peak Winery (our first stop), we popped into Jimtown General Store. The turkey and chickpea chipotle sandwich I ordered was delicious. I also liked the decor. Jimtown felt a bit like it was frozen in time. Then again, there was something edgy about the place. The woman behind the counter was wearing a fifties outfit and pigtails in her hair but she was covered in tattoos. I definitely recommend a stop here if you're in the area.

We wandered into the back of the store and found this robot made out of tissue boxes and toilet paper cores.
Jimtown invites anyone named Jim to autograph the stuffed hound.

On the road again, we stopped at Field Stone Winery. The tasting room was nestled into the hillside.
The view from inside was gorgeous. The room itself felt like a cross between a cocoon and a bunker.
Our last stop was Hanna. I found this picture perfect flower outside to conclude our afternoon adventure.
Now for the main attraction -- Hall and Oates! Rodney Strong Vineyards was an interesting, intimate venue for a concert. It seats about 1000 people and includes ample open seating on the lawn. We brought our fold-up camping chairs and staked out a great spot on the lawn. We bought a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy with the concert -- nice and refreshing to beat the heat.

I love Hall and Oates and have wanted to see them in concert for years. They are my musical guilty pleasure. I typically end up disappointed at concerts. Artists often try to play more obscure or newer work and tend not to cater to the audience favorites. Not so with Hall and Oates. They were amazing professionals and gave us exactly what we wanted. They came on-stage with hit after hit. From She's Gone to I Can't Go for That to Private Eyes -- we lapped it right up. No cruddy b-sides and no extended show-boating on various instruments (recall the extended guitar riff I mentioned after the George Clinton concert...). Awesome! Hall and Oates had the crowd on their feet and came back for two encores. They deserved a huge standing ovation. I would go see them again in a heartbeat. Bravo!


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